ESPA’s New Certification Sets Standard For Profession

New Industry Mark Raises Education Expectations for Event Servicing

The Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) announced today it has unveiled a certification process that creates a new standard to elevate the profession.

The new Event Service Professional Certification (ESPC) is unique because it focuses on the profession of event servicing at convention centers, hotels, CVBs, and other event venues.

“ESPC is the first industry certification made for our profession, which is a frontline role with events that generates return business at locales by helping meeting planners execute exceptional in-person events,” said ESPA President Paola Bowman, who is director of Client Services & Events at the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau in Arlington, Texas. “As event servicing professionals, we are accustomed to being part of the solution, which is why our association decided to invest in the profession when it needs us most. Our ESPC sets a new standard that elevates the profession, which is
needed today more than ever.”

In a post-pandemic events setting, experienced event service professionals are more valuable to meeting planners, who face new audiences in different places through hybrid technology, attendance building challenges, expanded safety needs and city-wide labor shortages.

Industry-First Certification Process
Candidates for ESPC have two options: 1) Take the Event Service Professional Foundational Training Program or 2) Obtain a waiver to bypass the training. Candidates can be “waived” if they can demonstrate at least 10 years of professional event service experience and comprehension of event  servicing in convention centers, hotels and CVBs. In addition, 20 hours of continuing education, which focuses on event servicing topics, is required over three years.

To earn the ESPC, candidates must complete a capstone project, which includes submitting a “Challenge Area” topic, such as connecting events to the local economy, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service and emerging trends in events to name a few.

Once the “Challenge Area” topic has been reviewed and approved by a Review Board, candidates must provide a minimum of a 1,000-word response with five cited sources. The solution must include hotel, facility/venue and DMO-related elements as well as describe the outcome. Candidates should consider
the following when writing the response:

  • Show evidence of the impact of the Event Service Professional in the outcome of the challenge.
  • Demonstrate collaboration across all segments.
  • Describe resources or relationships involved to achieve the outcome.
  • Describe measurable outcomes or achievements.

The ESPC will be awarded for a five-year period at which time a recertification is required. A list of candidates will be maintained on a list on ESPA’s website.

ESPA’s mission is to prepare event and convention services professionals for pivotal roles in innovative and successful event execution. As a forum for CSMs and an educational and networking resource, ESPA
advocates for the role and impact that event service professionals have on the success of events and destinations, hotels and convention centers.

For more information on ESPA, visit www.espaonline.org.

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